Some of the other boats in our class had gone to great lengths to lighten their boats – removing anchors and chain, personal items, seat cushions, etc. – which we chose not to do. Light boats go faster in light winds, but they can get tossed around if there are strong winds. The lighter boats began to pull away from us in what seemed to me like slow motion. The top speed of our boat under sail varies from 4 to 13 knots (7 – 21 km/h) depending on winds, but the 72 nautical mile distance we would be traveling would mean that we would be 9 – 12 hours before we arrived. Much fuss about trimming, or getting the most from the sails, was taking place on board, too. 0.1 knots makes a big difference over that distance. Everyone had an area that they worked most of the time (foredeck, helm, sail trim, ‘strings’, navigation, skipper) but we would jump in to help at another station if someone sang out for help. There always seemed to be adjusting that needed to happen for the whole twelve hours of the race. We arrived in Penang at almost 2 am after a long, slow passage with very little wind. We had finished fifth out of five – very disappointing.
|Been here, fixed this.|
|It gets crowded below during races|
Now, the race is finished. We will be sailing up to Phuket with a much smaller subset of the crew (just us, another couple and two others), with plans to stop at some nice anchorages and coves along the way.
|Dale and Martin attend to the rigging|
|The cockpit gets busy|
|First night race dinner|
|Kate 'on the strings'|
|Out in front!|
|Look at all the boats behind us!|
|Did I mention it is ALWAYS hot here?|